How Long Can a Landlord Shut Off Water for Repairs?

Every lease agreement imposes some responsibilities on both landlord and tenant. On behalf of the landlord, it’s his top priority to fix things in and around the rental property; he has to maintain the renting property in a fit and habitable condition for the tenant. All the vital services must be in working condition, and the rental property must be safe and clean.

Among the most common problems that a landlord will likely have to fix is water systems such as burst pipes, spilling water into the unit, or broken water heaters. In such a situation, the landlord might have to shut off the water service. In most circumstances, it’s illegal for the landlord to cut off any services without any reason and notice; however, to repair the damages, it’s necessary to shut off the utilities for some time.

But the question is, how long is the landlord legally allowed to shut off the water service?

You can not ascertain a definite period to shut off the water. The time needed to repair water-related problems can vary widely depending upon the severity, type, and importance of the issue.

Continue reading to understand the different situations and the possible time in which the landlord can shut off the services.


How Long Can Landlords Shut Off The Water Service?

Every tenant wants the landlord to deal with the problem quickly, but major issues need priority. The landlord must pay attention to the most important issues first.

In most states, 30 days is the reasonable time within which the landlord can shut off the water service for the quickest repairs. The conditions that can be repaired within 30 days include a small water leak or technical problems with the water heater. 

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Some issues need prompt attention. For example, a water pipe may suddenly burst, a heater stops heating water in the dead winter, or a roof starts leaking that fills up large buckets. You cannot take these situations lightly as it’s an emergency for the tenant. 

The law permits the landlord the 30 days limit as an appropriate time to fix the water-related problems, but the law also expects the landlord to resolve the issue as early as possible. So, if an emergency arises, the landlord must fix the issue as early as possible. 

Few hours to two or three business days is the appropriate time for such a condition. If the landlord fails to repair the damages within a reasonable period, he owes the tenant the damages.

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Is It Compulsory For The Landlord To Issue Notice Before Shutting Off The Water Service?

Before shutting off the water service or repairs that violate the warranty of habitability, the landlord must send an advance notice to the tenant. The notice states that the tenant’s water service will be shut off for repair purposes so the tenant can schedule his activities outside the repair hours. The typical period for the advance notice varies by state, but it is usually between 24 to 48 hours before the entry.

In the case of smaller rentals, the landlord can also call the tenant; send an email or a note rather than formally sending an advance notice. Suppose the problem is not extended by the landlord and solved as early as possible. In that case, the tenant should comply with the landlord on informal notification regarding entering the house for the repair. 

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However, if urgent fixing is required, the tenant should allow the landlord to enter the house without advance notice.